Testing Various Alternative Identification Requirements for Food Stamp Recipients

CED-77-54: Published: Apr 1, 1977. Publicly Released: Apr 1, 1977.

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A 1976 GAO report recommended the use of photo identification cards for food stamp recipients.

The Department of Agriculture (USDA) believes that such identification requirements, if mandatory in only certain localities for test purposes, would subject such tests to legal challenges because the Food Stamp Act requires uniform national eligibility requirements. If USDA is to conduct meaningful tests of new identification procedures in one or two localities prior to possible implementation on a nationwide basis, Congress will have to enact clear demonstration project authority specifically covering such tests. USDA has asked Congress for authority for testing photo identification cards and countersignature procedures. A chronology lists various actions Congress and the Administration took from October 1975 to March 1977 related to increased identification requirements and different means of improving program administration.

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